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Dictation is a useful teaching tool, because it gives practice in interpreting sounds and transforming them into words.  When the students do the dictating, it adds the element of pronunciation practice. 

Dictation pairs

I have taken some corny jokes, and replaced about half the words with blanks.  On another sheet, I have blanks where the first sheet has words, and words where the first sheet has blanks.  I divide the students into pairs, and each one dictates to the other the words that he has that his partner doesn't have.  I do not allow peeking.  This is a speaking and listening exercise.  Click on the links below to download some dictation pairs. 



Crazy, not stupid

Dog poker

God won't know me




Bank robbers


Happy marriage


Dictation pronunciation practice


I have written pairs of words that differ by only one vowel, or have other minor differences in pronunciation.  I have cut a hole in a manila envelope, so that only one pair shows at a time.  I give the envelope to each student in turn, and he reads the words two or three times so that his classmates can write them down.  I have found this to be useful as a pronunciation and listening exercise.

Click on the link below to download pronunciation pairs.

Pronunciation pairs

Old fashioned French Dictée

Teachers of French to French students use the dictée a lot.  The teacher reads a paragraph through at normal speed once, then reads it slowly in small segments, repeating each segment two or three times, then reads it a normal speed once again.  Students write down what they hear.  It tests listening, comprehension, spelling, and grammar.  I don't use it very often.  It is a humbling experience.  You think your students understand everything you say, but after a dictee, you realize that those smiles and nods have more to do with politeness than with comprehension.       Frank Jones 724 Summerly Dr. Nashville, TN 37209